San Antonio Spurs History

10 Funniest moments of Manu Ginobili's career

Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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5. Manu Ginobili becomes one with the earth

One of the best things to ever come out of the Big Three days as someone living in San Antonio was the abundance of H-E-B commercials. For those outside of Texas, H-E-B is a hugely successful and popular grocery store that has sponsored the Spurs for years.

There were dozens of spots featuring several guys on the roster over the years, but Manu was probably the one who stole the show the most often. While players like Tony Parker and Tim Duncan usually mostly played themselves, Manu was frequently cast as the quirky guy doing strange things.

One of Manu's best on-screen moments came in an ad in which he played a totally enlightened elderly man.

I don't know about you, but something about him calling Kawhi "my child" gets me every time.

4. Ginobili pulls the ultimate pump fake on Coach Gregg Popovich

As you'll see with these next two moments, no one was safe from being pranked during the golden days of Spurs basketball. From Popovich to Tim and Manu, the guys enjoyed messing with each other whenever they had a chance.

As Manu once recalled, he even once played a joke on Coach Popovich during an important moment in a game. "I got an offensive rebound, one minute to go, up one. I took it to the 3-point line and faked the shot," he said. "[I faked] knowing I wasn't going to take it. We had a full possession. I look at him and I see him jumping LeBron James style. He jumped this high. 'Nooooo!' "

Manu then swung a pass over to Tony Parker and looked back to see the entire bench hiding their faces with laughter. I'm guessing Coach Pop probably needed a special bottle of wine that night.

3. Manu pranks Tim with a Gatorade cup

Even the greatest power forward of all time couldn't avoid being pranked by Manu at some point. This one is a strange one, as it doesn't seem like much of a prank to make someone sit on an empty Gatorade cup. But when you watch the clip below, you can see just how much Tony and Manu enjoyed it when Duncan fell victim.

The clip frequently made the rounds on Twitter without much context until Duncan was finally asked about it on The Jump in 2021. "We had been going back and forth with this all year long," said Tim. "I had gotten him a couple of times. He had gotten me a couple of times. We became hyper-aware of our surroundings and always ready. He caught me slipping."

I guess we all have to get creative to stay entertained sometimes.

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